*This post is sponsored by State Farm®but all thoughts and views are my own; my social media fee was donated to Habitat for Humanity

Last year I started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity NYC as part of their A Brush with Kindness projects. I found the charity through the State Farm Neighborhood of Good website, which is a portal that helps you find local volunteering opportunities. The site is free and simple to use; it helped me to actually volunteer, as I had for a long time wanted to do so but never got around to signing up to something before last year.

Habitat for Humanity is a charity that works with the local community to self-build houses, as well as manage and carry out other community improvement projects. The charity is made up of multiple local chapters who are autonomous and work in their respective communities. Given my love for design and color, Habitat for Humanity New York City is the perfect organization for me to volunteer with. It’s so fun to get to go out and spend the day adding color and life to community centers in some of New York City’s public housing.

I had a thought of doing something a bit different for my birthday this year. Instead of having a party I decided to volunteer with loved ones and friends. Spending the day giving back to the local community whilst also spending quality time with the people I loved was the perfect way to mark my birthday. This all came about because the first volunteering day I did last year was so much fun! Everyone who volunteered on the day kept saying how nice it was to get out of their office and do something different, something where you can see the difference you’ve made in just one day. Last year, we transformed a kid’s classroom that was tired and old and made it bright, fresh and full of color – it felt so good to do something positive.

*Use the slider to see the wall before & after*
If you follow along with my Instagram Story you may have seen that I spent the day volunteering on March 15th, which was the day after my birthday and the closest day available. We spent the day on the Lower East Side of Manhattan volunteering as part of A Brush with Kindness project in a New York Public Housing Authority community center called, Jacob Riis. Children and families use the center a lot as they put on activities and also have lots of clubs for kids in the local community to be part of. For older kids they also have a space where they can play pool, and a small gym area. The community center runs on tight budget and hadn’t been painted for a long time, so a group of us came in to refresh one of the recreation rooms.

One of my favorite things about Habitat for Humanity NYC are their group leaders. They help you during the day but also give you freedom to make creative decisions, which is really nice. For example, in the community room we painted for my birthday volunteering event there was a large wall. The center told us they would like to use a light purple color but then the team leader gave us freedom to choose what we wanted to do. A group of us decided to do a herringbone wall and the group leader worked with three of us to plan out the wall, making suggestions and helping us to achieve the final look.

I thought it would be fun to share how we created the herringbone feature wall (and a big shout out to Zoe and Ashley who did all the hard math for our wall!). First, we gathered all the things we needed which were:

1. 2” inch painters tape
2. Chalk line
3. Measuring tape
4. Mini rollers
5. Paint brushes
6. Two different color paints
7. A pencil

FYI: This method assumes you like the existing color of the wall. If you don’t then make sure to paint whole wall a color of your choice and allow to dry thoroughly before starting.chevron wallStep One
Start in the middle of the wall and mark the center line with chalk, then decide how wide and high you want the pattern to be. We decided on our sizing based on the overall wall dimensions; we also had pillars so wanted to make sure you could see the pattern in between the pillars. We designed each of the herringbones to be 30.5 inches wide and 16 inches high.

Step Two
From the center line, measure the other vertical lines out on the wall based on the width of your pattern. For our wall this was 30.5 inches. So, we measured 30.5 inches from the center line in each direction and chalked these vertical lines onto the wall. Then, we repeated this until the wall had a vertical line every 30.5 inches (this would be at whatever width you have decided).

Step Three
On the vertical lines mark out the height of your herringbone, starting at the bottom. For our wall the height was 16 inches, therefore we marked every 16 inches with a pencil on the vertical lines.chevron wallStep Four
Start to tape the diagonal lines of the individual herringbones. At the vertical center line place the tape right at the bottom, near the floor, and then pull the tape diagonally across to the adjacent vertical line, and the tape should cross that line at the first point you marked (i.e 16 inches above the floor). Keep repeating this all the way between the two lines, tearing the tape off when you meet the next vertical line.

Step Five
Keep repeating step four so that you create diagonally taped lines between adjacent vertical lines. Remember to switch direction so the diagonal lines go up if they just came down, and vice versa.

Step Six
Now put painters tape on all the vertical lines.chevron wallStep Seven
‘Seal’ the painters tape by painting over the edges with white paint.chevron wallStep Eight
Now, start to paint inside the chevrons remembering to alternate the paint colors as you do so –
see below. A helpful thing to do is to mark each individual herringbone segment with its respective color before starting to paint. Let the paint to dry and then add a second coat.

Step Nine
Remove the painters tape and see the herringbone pattern revealed before your eyes!chevron wallIf you have been inspired by this post to get volunteering or even have for your own birthday volunteering event, grab a group of friends and start volunteering! Be sure you head over to the State Farm Neighborhood of Good’s website to find opportunities in your area. All you need to do is put in details such as your location and some of your interests, and then it will give you a list of local volunteering opportunities. I hope you have as much fun volunteering as I do!chevron wall// Photography by Will Taylor


Will Taylor

Will lives in NYC and is an interior design author and content creator. He's been blogging about his love of design, style and travel since 2009. His #MakeYouSmileStyle approach to decorating and dressing has inspired over one million Instagram uploads to the hashtag from followers across the world.


  1. Such a lovely story. It’s always nice to give something back to your community. I love the design too. This would be great to brighten up a dull courtyard.

  2. Been looking for a fun way to spice up my new apartment i just moved into with my love!! Now to get to work! Love it and love your blog!!
    IG – @cjciavatta

  3. This looks unreal!! Definitely pinning this post for when I’ve gotta renovatea a space!

  4. Matthew Reid Reply

    I’ve been meaning to do a colour pattern like this on one of the walls of my den for ages! Love this look, Will! 🙂


  5. Love this so much! Our walls definitely need some #makeyousmilestyle, maybe we’ll try this! @michreed0703 🙂

  6. IG can be such a surface level community, and I’ve always appreciated your commitment to, what I feel at least, is very genuine content. Blending your background with a commitment to philanthropy is really inspiring. Keep it up good sir.

    Also as a sidebar, your beach house turned out to be the actual cutest.

    IG handle: @m_rysavy

  7. Pedro Sanchez Reply

    As always you giving back your positive energy in form of volunteering, great doing Will! And the wall looks amazing x

  8. I really love your work! It has given me inspiration for my next project. Keep up the great work, I’m looking forward to your future post!

    Ig- ricardo_ortz

  9. Étienne Douville Reply

    I love your style! The color you bring to every item makes me so happy just by looking at it!! Thank you ❤️ @etiennedou

  10. Love the way you explore colors and patterns. The generosity and optimism of #makeyousmilestyle radiates through your volunteer efforts and everything you do, which is so needed in the world. Keep inspiring!

  11. Okay this is awesome! And even better since you did this to help others. That’s definitely ‘Make You Smile’ style!

    IG: instacaam

  12. Noddy_Taylor Reply

    Ace colour choice! Defo doing this when we buy a place! IG: Noddy_Taylor

  13. Your blog is stunning! We can see your energy through the content and the way you do your post and art. I love the colour palette, make my day here in London bright! :)) @barducco

  14. You inspire me to try this but ill keep a can of white paint handy, in case i F it up 🙂

  15. Love the color and all the detailed instructions! Would also love that H&M gift card 🙂 insta: @msalyer87

  16. Love your work as always! Positive vibes on this day from chilly Boston. x

  17. So creative! Thanks for the help. Might do this for an accent wall in my living room! @thenicolawl

  18. Love your design style and use of bright colors. Can’t wait to work this into some of my own spaces!

  19. Thanks for sharing this awesome practical project! I love a simple project that makes a great visual impact. I also love what Habitat for Humanity is doing for the world, so this partnership makes me very happy! Insta: @drawdrewdrawing81

  20. Danny from the Netherlands Reply

    Hi Will, wonderfull that you visit Europe.
    I love your style. Since losing weight I always buy my clothes at the H&M

  21. I absolutely love this idea of doing something memorable and meaningful on your birthday. And the design is super elegant yet playful I love it ♥️ IG: saadriaz25

  22. This is great! I used to volunteer for Habitat with my dad when I was a kid growing up in Memphis, but nothing we did was ever as vibrant as this—keep it up! @billyandrews

  23. Ty Chisholm Reply

    This is actually super cool! I might have to give it a try! @ty_cc

  24. Besides the fact that the wall is so so aesthetically pleasing and soothing to look at, the purpose behind its creation is what really draws my attention! Thank you for volunteering to brighten up our city and making it a teachable moment. Keep doing you 🙏🏼 @seth.nyc

  25. Eli Searcy Reply

    Omg this is amazing, giving back to the community is always awesome (@elisearcy01)

  26. Cute colours! Makes me smile & be positive. 😊☺️😌 @deiimis

  27. Sumit Munjal Reply

    This is the coolesg idea 💡, I love how you used the base colour of wall to create almost 3D image. IG: sumitmunjall

  28. Karan Saxena Reply

    Hey, this is amazing! I love when people use their skill set for volunteerism, it shows such great passion! That’s why I love following your work so much. You put in so much thought and work into fashion, interior designing and photography. I also really really do love the design! Your work is simply fantastic. xo


  29. Patrick & Joe Reply

    Love the idea of a birthday volunteering event and this wall is so cool! Joe and I always talk about the interior design and art we want to do in our place when we move back to SF – this wall is great inspiration! Digging the #MakeYouSmileStyle

  30. Romello Williams Reply

    Great way to get plugged in and share some light with the world! @anarje

  31. How do you keep your clothes so clean while painting? That’s the real tutorial I need! @alanilagan

  32. Erick Secaira Reply

    I love your style and determination. I’m really proud your action in volunteering, leaves a hope and chance for a greater and more colorful future. I look forward to see what your next job is. @ErickSecaira 🌈🙌🏿

  33. Stunning! I’ve always loved a chevron accent wall but I’ve also been too nervous to implement the design in my own space for fear of it going out of style eventually. Thoughts? @cjonas03

  34. Andy Olivieri Reply

    Always wanted to give this a try! Might as well leave this post feeling inspired I won’t mess up my walls haha. Great post as always! @oleandres

  35. You’re such an inspiration! I love everything you post!


  36. Dustin T.H. Reply

    I have done mountain silhouettes on my wall before but never a cool geometric pattern such as this! Great idea chap! (@dandydustin on IG) 😉

  37. How did I o my just learn that you have a blog?!? Goodness I’ve been following your Instagram account for a while. Must have been right under my nose and I missed it. That’s so awesome! I love volunteering. When my school went to Ecuador two years ago we helped paint a school and that was so wonderful! This year I’m working on my birthday so I can’t volunteer but I will be helping people!! My Instagram handle is tamaraellan

  38. Miguel Brotons Reply

    It’s great you volunteered your time to quite literally brighten up someone’s day/space! Keep up the colorful work! 🙂 – @migb22

  39. Yair Banuelos Reply

    Will this is amazing, I saw a brief clip of this too on one of your other social media outlets. It’s great your giving back to the community. It’s such a great inspiration, not to mention the wall paint idea looks fantastic! Also an inspiration for my home decor. Thanks for all the great things you do.



  40. Joal Merren Reply

    I tried this one time! Did not turn out as great as yours but still enjoyed the process. Thank you for all your inspiration, I really do look forward to it everyday @joalmerren

  41. Nice touch to an otherwise plain wall! Going to add this idea to my list of living room reno ideas 🙂

    IG: @flurmazing

  42. Kevin Fichman Reply

    I LOVE this. It’s a beautiful way to celebrate your birthday and donate your time to a great cause at the same time. 😊 I really like that you can still see the original texture of the wall. Well done! @misterkevinmarshall

  43. Love the colours mate! Do they have any organisations like this in the UK? @kimbletron

  44. Love the design of the wall! And love that it’s meaningful. Also where did you get that sweater?? IG – @rush_hourrr

  45. Musawwir Muhtar Reply

    I am a fan of you since six months ago I started following you on Instagram. I love the way you win people to your way of thinking. This indeed meaningful and fascinating idea. Love your work and I am always excited too see your next work and movement. Greetings from Indonesia. @awirmuhtar

  46. Incredible design .. I been dreaming with a wall like this one at home but I was unsure about how to do it. Now I have this blog which a great tool to go ahead and try it at home..
    Thank for always being so helpful !!

  47. I love this spin on the traditional chevron pattern! And I love that you gave back on your birthday! Your content always inspires me. Keep up the good work!

    IG: @jorhor

  48. Great organization to volunteer for- way to go! I love the slider before and after feature you included. Great tutorial, keep up the great work! @liakosphoto

  49. Crystal Laboy Reply

    For painters tape is there a specific brand you recommend? I’ve used it before and the paint always seems to leak through that I’ve ending up going through the lengthy time of painting each corner very carefully with a smaller brush instead 😵.

    As always though your work inspires me 🙌🏻 – @thepizzaiggy

    • @Crystal – Thank you! We use either 3M painters tape or Frog Tape (it’s green!) and I also dampen it before I paint to activate the glue more so it stops the seepage!

  50. Diego Varas Reply

    This looks amazing Will! Gotta love a colorful and cheerful feature wall with a cool and classic pattern. Keep up the fresh and lively design that characterizes you. Disfruta Barcelona!


  51. Patrick Doran Reply

    Not sure what is more cool. That you volunteeredfor your bday and donated your proceeds from the post or that awesome design that all the kids get to enjoy now. Currently deciding if I’d be able to pull off painting that in my aptartment 🤔

    IG: @padoran

  52. Katie Kolberg Reply

    What an awesome way to spend your bday! IG: @Katie_Kolberg

  53. Morgan Phillips Reply

    As always, love love love the work you do! I work for a nonprofit and plan these types of events, myself, and it’s no easy feat. We certainly couldn’t do it without amazing volunteers like yourself. 👍🏻 @morganok

  54. Chris Villalobos Reply

    I just wanted to say that I recently discovered your Instagram and am in love with everything about it. All of the bright color really brightens my day every time I see a one of your posts. Keep doing you!

    IG: @villaloboslvc

  55. I love statement walls like this! It was also subtle in a way and I love how it elevated the space! IG: @jonahpritchett

  56. Will, as usual, love your content. Big time fan here since two years ago and your daily posts are something I look forward every time I open instagram. Love the way you balance you feed with home improvement and fashion sense. I have copied some of your outfits and I can say that it makes me look more stylish. Makes me want to do side by side comparisons between your shots and mine. And you also do volunteer work? You’re simply amazing. I would definitely like to meet you one day.
    Would also like to get feedback from you, stop by my page and let me know what you think. @rookieten Thanks!

  57. Uzair Siddiqui Reply

    What a beautiful gesture for the community. Love it! @siddici

  58. Peter Jessy Reply

    I would love to try this in my new apartment! Will try to attempt this and ahow you the results! IG: PeterJessyy

  59. you are so creative and I love that it was not only life-giving to yourself but also for the youth. I love the colors you chose for the wall and how do you look so effortlessly stylish even while painting?! IG handle: @jandalovesjesus

  60. I love that you spent your birthday doing volunteer work! I think I wanna do the same next year on my birthday! And on top of that the work you did turned out so perfectly!!
    Can’t wait to see what more you come up with in the future!
    IG: Andrewnolan92

  61. Zach Millender Reply

    2 things- first, I love a nice chevron accent wall, and the colors you picked are awesome! Second, you’re a brave soul for painting in such nice clothes!! I’m usually in ripped shorts and a ratty tee 🙂 @fish_tail96

  62. This is awesome, I have lived your style since long ago.
    IG: emmanueltapiag.

  63. Thank you for highlighting the importance of giving back to your community! Your stunning final product shows that not only can giving back be rewarding, it can also be fun!

    IG- @jcav_

  64. Saurabh Chowdhry Reply

    Really neat article. Also love the aesthetic for your blog website! @theurbanwatch

  65. Patrick D’Amico Reply

    That was so selfless of you to do and on your birthday to boot!! The chevron wall looks incredible!! 😍😍 @gospelofpatrick

  66. Shane Waddell Reply

    Love that you make your birthday about helping others. Good karma definitely coming your way!!

    IG – @shanewaddell

  67. Kerry Governato Reply

    Love this chevron wall tip. 😉 You are a inspiration!
    Kerry @colourspeak_kerry_

  68. Ahmed Radhi Mkaouar Reply

    Best way to celebrate your birthday.. I did similar thing for mine as well.. And it was by far my best birthday ever..
    IG: @limbecile_heureux

  69. Trevor Fung Reply

    Totally love the idea of a group volunteering day for a birthday or something! Also definitely bookmarking this for the future ✌

  70. What a great way to spend your birthday by volunteering! I love what you did with the wall! I’ve been thinking of attempting to do a chevron pattern in my home office, but I’ve been too intimidated to attempt it. With your clear instructions, I feel like I could be successful now!

    ig: @dakotajthomas

  71. You’re all heart. And the wall came out gorgeous. 💜 @madlybs 💚

  72. Adeniyi Taofeek Adekola Reply

    Wow.. You brings beauty to a wack looking wall…
    Your painting skills is so good , and thanks for sharing with us the tricks to give happiness to ourselves and others.
    I. G: Tao_vk

  73. It is one of the DIY things that one can easily follow to turn a boring wall into fun and chic. A person good with measurements can easily follow the steps to make the walls classy and elegant. Amazingly done. Love it. @sh0aibm0hd

  74. Pingback: SteamLine Pink Luggage at a Palm Leaf Mural in Chicago

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Hey, I'm Will

Welcome to Bright.Bazaar, my make-you-smile style corner of the internet. I’ve been sharing my love of beautiful design, feel-good homes, everyday style, inspiring travel and, pretty much everything in between, since 2009. As well as working as a content creator, I write interior design books and edit a bi-weekly e-newsletter called Smile Mail. I live in New York City with my heartmate and can often be found listening to Madonna’s Confessions album and dreaming up my next home renovation project.